By Kelli Grant
Published: October 7, 2009, 6:11 PM
KELOLAND has become a hub for the latest and greatest in medicine and life-saving technology. In fact, many people travel to South Dakota to receive quality health care. Their options just expanded because the heart of the region just got a little stronger.
Right now, dirt and a huge hole take up the corner of 18th Street and Grange Avenue in Sioux Falls. But in two years, a 200,000 square foot building will sit be complete, called the Sanford Heart Hospital.
Room is already being made on Sanford's campus for the $78 million project.
The new facility, which will consist of five floors, will have the ability to grow, bringing much more than heart care to patients in the area.
"To the community, first of, all, it brings jobs because it's a huge construction project for two years," Dr. Pat O'Brien, President of Sanford USD Medical Center, said.
He says the health system's new addition represents a surge in the number of patients that need for cardiac care.
"We've been in the heart business for 30 years; it's just that our volumes continue to grow. You know there's baby boomer population, there's more awareness and also people can have more procedures, different kinds of things done that are more preventative of trouble later," O'Brien said.
The newest addition to the heart health care field will join the Avera Heart Hospital, which became the state's first dedicated heart hospital in 2001. Heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States. It's that reason alone, O'Brien says this facility is a valued and needed asset.
"The problem with heart disease continues and controlling it, understanding it, researching it and also treating it in better and better ways is still a big deal in America," O'Brien said.
The new hospital will be about the same size as its cross-town competitor, housing 58 beds and the latest in cardiovascular technology, a design that will give patients direct access to other parts of the Medical Center
"We're connected on every floor to the main medical center and we think that heart patients need all of that support that they can get. So our hospital, while it's a separate building, is connected right to our medical center," O'Brien said.
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